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Did you know you can research local keywords using Google Trends? It’s true, and it’s easier than you think.

Go to Google Trends and click on “Explore.” You’ll see a dropdown box on the left side of your screen. The first label is “Search terms.” Click on the dropdown arrow and you’ll see “Locations” and “Time ranges.” You can enter up to five search terms for comparison purposes. After you enter your search terms, go to Locations.

The cool thing about Locations is you can narrow it down to your local area – within reason.

For instance, you can search for “attorneys” in the United States, or you can narrow your search to a specific state. Within each state you can also narrow it down to specific metropolitan areas. For instance, in Pennsylvania, there is a local area defined as Harrisburg-Lancaster-Lebanon-York, which is a fairly broad area.

Local search is a big deal. It’s growing more and more important everyday. And since you can’t really perform a local keyword search through Google’s AdWords Keyword Research Tool, you have to get a little more creative. Google Trends is a good opportunity for you.

If you are a local search marketer or local small business, use Google Trends for local keyword research.

For years, many of us relied on Google Reader to deliver our daily news. That included business news in our favorite niches. But yesterday was Google Reader’s last day alive. Google pulled the plug.

What’s that mean for you and me?

For one thing, if you used Google Reader to subscribe to blogs, then you can’t do that any more. You’ll have to find another way to subscribe to your favorite blogs. I recommend Feedly. On the other hand, if you are a business blogger and you know that some of your subscribers were Google Reader users, then you’ve got to find a way to attract those bloggers again. You can’t assume that they knew beforehand that Google Reader was going to die.

If you use Feedburner, or another RSS metric tool, to track your subscribers, then you should be looking today to see how many subscribers you’ve lost.

You should also consider adding an e-mail subscription button to your blog. Many people today still rely on e-mail for catching up on life. Many people still aren’t aware of what an RSS news aggregator is, so they won’t miss Google Reader.

There’s no doubt you have to work harder to get subscribers to your blog, but the death of Google Reader isn’t the end of your blog marketing world. It could be just the beginning.